1. Hurry-up offense produces quick results
The Vikings had seen on film the Dolphins were often slow to line up on defense, and they took advantage of that on both of Kirk Cousins’ touchdown passes Sunday. They went no-huddle before Cousins’ first TD pass to Stefon Diggs, when center Pat Elflein snapped the ball with 27 seconds left on the play clock. The Vikings huddled before Cousins’ 40-yard strike to Aldrick Robinson, but Elflein snapped the ball almost immediately after he lined up, and Robinson beat Torry McTyer downfield.
2. Barr comes up big
It was a good time for linebacker Anthony Barr to have one of his best games in recent memory. The ninth overall pick in the 2014 draft will be a free agent after the season, and after going without a sack in the Vikings’ first 12 games, Barr has three in the past two. He recorded his first multi-sack game Sunday, drove his man into the backfield to set up Danielle Hunter’s tackle for loss on the first series and finished with a team-high seven tackles.
3. Vindication for O-line
Part of the reason coach Mike Zimmer didn’t give the Vikings a day off after a win Monday was because he wanted his offensive line to watch film of the Dolphins game and realize how different their season can be if they keep things up. They opened big holes in the Dolphins’ front, leading to four Vikings runs of 18 yards or longer. According to staff writer Andrew Krammer, 149 of the Vikings’ 213 yards on their 35 handoffs came before contact.